The Los Angeles Lakers have something of a point guard problem. The team has its entrenched starter in Lonzo Ball, who is universally regarded as the potential face of the franchise, even as he has worked through some issues during his rookie campaign and is currently out with an injury.
On Thursday, the team acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade, and while he has had his own issues this season, he is still a year removed from being one of the best point guards in the NBA. In most circumstances, he is the kind of guy who would come in and be given the reigns without a second thought.
Thomas’ agent also expressed that the veteran has zero intention of coming off the bench. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols read a text from Aaron Goodwin which read, in all caps, “HE IS NOT COMING OFF THE BENCH,” which is as clear-cut of a message as you can send.
The bad news for Thomas and Goodwin is that Magic Johnson is still in Los Angeles, and he’s still 100 percent invested in developing Ball. Johnson met with the media on Thursday afternoon and expressed that the starting point guard job still belongs to Ball, even if he does expect that Thomas will get a ton of run.
Luke Walton also spoke to members of the media and elaborated on the pairing, saying that he believes there’s a way for both guards to play at the same time.
Offensively putting Ball’s playmaking ability with Thomas’ scoring ability could be a ton of fun, even if there are questions about how the two would be able to have the two coexist on the defensive end of the floor. It remains to be seen how Thomas will take this arrangement, especially with his impending free agency, but the Lakers seem to think this will work out for everyone.